The mystery of Banksy’s store
Blinds are down: Banksy’s store, The Gross Domestic Product merchandise shop closed on October 13th.
Based in London between Church Street and Frith Road, “the store that never opens” appeared just on the first day of October. After only thirteen days, the shop windows are empty. However, the street artist’s aim to continue surprising is achieved!
The latest installation by the peculiar artist, emerged literally from nothing, during the night in the Croydon neighborhood. It took the place of a former carpet shop.
Came out of nowhere, and without a single clue being given about it, The Gross Domestic Product merchandise store quickly attracted the art world and international press’ attention.
Not a shop: The Gross Domestic Product
The store consisted of a large window displaying some of the Bristol street artist’s works. Banksy’s store was a candidate to be the newest iconic store in London. With its design and jazz music in the background playing, it had the chance to become a symbol of the city.
Among the products, there were a ruined cash register and various clocks with the iconic mouse. Particularly catching the two signs saying “life is too short” and “to take advice from a pillow”. The living room decorated with a broken sofa was impactful. Moreover, dominating the scene, there was a carpet with the appearance of Tony the Tiger, the animated character in Kellogg’s cereal commercials.
Banksy’s art, as expected, is in all the products on display. His aversion to the system manifests in every detail, even in the idea to open a shop where buying is forbidden!
As the artist explains on his Instagram profile: “This showroom is for display purposes only. I’m opening a shop today (although the doors don’t actually open). It’s in Croydon. Probably best viewed at night”.
Actually, all this turned out to be his latest idea to protect his brand, without giving up on provocation and mystery.
Behind The Gross Domestic Product
While encouraging people’s interest, Banksy revealed the world the issue and the true reason behind The Gross Domestic Product.
“A greetings cards company is contesting the trademark I hold to my art, and attempting to take custody of my name so they can sell their fake Banksy merchandise legally.”
So, the opening of Banksy’s store, according to the English press, would serve to protect its brand. To begin, it seems that the idea grew on Mark Stephens’s advice. The lawyer, also the founder of the Design and Artists Copyright Society, explained that if the owner of a trademark does not use it, this can be transferred.
That is why Stephens proposed Banksy to start a store as the most efficient resolution to his problem. Above all, the artist, who always rejected commercial and market logic, was forced to choose a decidedly different approach. The ruined cash register stands as a symbol of this condition, giving us another witness of the faceless great artist’s imaginary.